Lulu’s Lemonade: A Guide to Being Chill

Photography by Frank Quirarte

This weekend, I went to visit my cousins in Santa Cruz. The moment I saw my cousin approaching in her camouflage Crocs and Patagonia jacket, I felt the need to win her approval. After spending the weekend trying to prove my own laid-back nature and go-with-the-flow attitude, I discovered many handy tricks which may help next time you find yourself in overwhelmingly chill company.

  1. Say yes to everything. Second-guessing any plan, or even suggesting that there be a plan, is a surefire way to stand out as a loser among surf bros. Just say yes. Or, better yet, say “yuh.” (You are too chill to bother enunciating.) Example: Do you want to sit through the new Star Wars movie for two and a half hours? Yuh. Wanna chug this 50 oz Arrowhead? Yuh. Is Kendrick Lamar the best artist of all time? Yuhhhh.
  2. Learn surf lingo. That way you can detect if people are making fun of you at the surf break. Thanks to Urban Dictionary, you know that a kook is “a poser who shows up in the lot with a frappuccino, checks the surf for an hour before actually going in, proceeds to splash around like a drowning rabbit, and pretends like they can surf when, in reality, they suck and don’t follow the rules of the lineup.” That’s not you. That is not your vibe, nor is it your aura. Prove this by quickly ditching your Starbucks cup and then shaking your head at the guy still holding his. Turn to nearest third party and say, “Can you believe this kook… probably doesn’t even know the rules of the lineup.”  Never mind that you yourself don’t know the rules of the lineup. Doesn’t matter. You are CHILL. Super hesh.
  3. Look up names of drugs that nobody has heard of. My word of choice for the weekend was “kratom.” I’m still unsure what kratom is. But saying things like “kratom vibes” or “off that kratom buzz” helped alert everyone in my vicinity that I was not a narcotics officer. I was blending in perfectly. I earned bonus points by obtrusively pointing out every time the clock struck 4:20.
  4. Speaking of drugs, if, like me, you’re still triggered from our 9th Grade Health projects, adopt the latest trend of applying Burts Bees to your eyelids instead. When my cousins pulled out some lip balm and asked me if I wanted to “beeze,” I had no idea what they were talking about. After consulting Urban Dictionary, I learned that putting Burts Bees on your eyelids is an actual thing. It produces an odd, tingly sensation. No fake ID required. When someone asks what you’re on, just offer a cryptic, “beezin, bruh.” Extra street cred for making offhand remark about how “messed up” you feel.
  5. Put on your wetsuit correctly. Seems obvious, but do not assume the colorful soft part of this mysterious garment is the outside, and then, after 15 minutes of wrestling it onto your limbs, walk out wearing your wetsuit inside out. Not only would that blow the cred you’ve built up from all the ‘kratom’ and ‘beezin’ references, but you will have to peel the rubbery skin-tight fabric off your skin millimeter by millimeter and then go back to war to put it on correctly. (Not that this happened to me. Just want to make sure it doesn’t happen to you.)
  6. Download the app “Tides Near Me” and live according to the ocean’s time. Opening the app may be initially confusing as you wonder who could possibly want all this pointless information. However, Tides Near Me enables you to wake up your surf friends at dawn to alert them the moon’s waxing crest has reached 42%! They will be so in awe of your knowledge, they may not speak to you the next day. That’s okay. Give them time to process how chill you are.
  7. Finally, actually surf. Even if you wind up surfing tiny, 1- to 2-foot waves, make constant references to legendary big-wave spots like Mavericks. Mention the last time you were at Mavericks. Point out ways in which the current situation differs from Mavericks, a spot you know all about, having once seen the cheesy Gerard Butler movie Chasing Mavericks. As you catch your first wave, the 60 year old woman to your left will clap and throw you a thumbs up. Sure, you’ll wish it was a 6’7 surfer named Jake or Reef who says,“ almost had that one!” when you miss a wave. But having mastered the above tips, you can feel satisfied that you are without a doubt the coolest person in the area–guaranteed.

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